As originally published by Matt Yuyitung on Exclaim!
As the title suggests, this is the Pack A.D.’s final record… kind of. The Vancouver garage rock duo of Maya Miller and Becky Black say that while they’re ready to call it a day, they’re not quite ready to call it a definitive break-up. Whether or not this is the last record we hear from these the two, It Was Fun While It Lasted is an upbeat, energetic blast of garage rock energy that captures a band walking away on their own terms.
Garage rock can be deceptively tricky. Nailing the right balance between in-your-face power chords and crash cymbals along with effective songwriting is an art unto itself. But Black and Miller have demonstrated across their career that they’re masters of the craft; they’re basically just showing off on tracks like the barreling “Shake” and the hooky “Soul Warden.”
Like any Pack A.D. record, there are no wasted seconds either. They put their strongest track, “Give Up,” in the lead-off spot, there’s two instrumentals that both clock in at under 90 seconds, and the whole record is a strong showcase of their lean, efficient songwriting. They pack in tons of hooks and energy, plus all the excitement and urgency that have made for their best material.
Final record or not, this record is a great showcase of what makes the Pack A.D. so fun. There’s Black and Miller’s chemistry as musicians, their rock-your-socks-off approach to songwriting, all infused with the growth and maturity they’ve gained as a band over their career. Call it a break, call it a hiatus, call it a complete and total break-up. Whatever it is, a fun rock record makes for a nice parting gift.